4 Benefits of Routine Colonoscopies

There’s no such thing as a crystal ball when it comes to your health, but your body is very good about providing clues. As medical providers, our goal is to identify and read those signs so we can take the necessary steps to safeguard your health. A perfect example of this is a colonoscopy, which provides us with potentially lifesaving information about your health.

At Rockwall Surgical Specialists, our experienced team offers this all-important service to our patients, allowing them to stay one step ahead of their health. Here, we present four very important benefits that a routine colonoscopy can provide.

1. Health screening

Let’s start with the most important benefit that a colonoscopy provides — it allows us to screen you for colorectal cancer. Each year in the United States, nearly 150,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and nearly 53,000 deaths are attributed to this type of cancer.

The lifetime risk for colorectal cancer is approximately 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 25 for women. With a colonoscopy, we can screen for the earliest signs of colorectal cancer, allowing us to take evasive action before the cancer has a chance to develop and spread.

2. Mitigating your risks

A colonoscopy is far more than just a screening tool. We also remove potentially cancerous polyps from your colon in the same procedure. During your colonoscopy, we thread a camera through your colon. If we spot a suspicious growth, we use specialized instruments to remove it for biopsy.

Even if we find that the polyp(s) doesn’t contain any abnormal or precancerous cells, in removing the growth(s), we eliminate the possibility of that growth becoming cancerous down the road.

3. Beyond cancer

Outside of cancer detection and prevention, a colonoscopy can be a valuable tool for other gastrointestinal issues. For example, if you have a blockage in your colon or you have bloody stools, we can turn to a colonoscopy to identify the problem. Then, using minimally invasive surgical techniques, we can perform colon surgery to remedy the issue.

4. Peace of mind

This last benefit is one that we can’t emphasize enough. Routine colonoscopies provide you with peace of mind knowing that this area of your health is well looked after. Because colorectal cancers are mostly slow-growing, we have ample time to take preventive, and potentially life-saving, action. 

How often should you get a colonoscopy?

We refer to “routine” colonoscopies in the title of this blog, but the exact timeline depends upon many factors, such as your medical history, your risk factors, and what we find during your initial colonoscopy. 

We typically recommend that people get screened for colorectal cancer at age 50 if they don’t have any risk factors, such as a family history of colon cancer. If we find nothing that qualifies as a cause for concern during this first colonoscopy, you likely won’t need another screening for 10 years, and then every 10 years following a clean result.

If we do find suspicious cells, we may recommend another colonoscopy 3-5 years after your first one.

We can determine what colonoscopy schedule is best for you when you set up a consultation with our team. Contact one of our locations in Rowlett, Rockwall, Greenville, or Forney, Texas, today.

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